'I find it very hard to make friends...'
As I grew up I didn't seem to make friends very easily and I envied those people who were popular, the in crowd. I was very lonely throughout my teens, never went to clubs or had boyfriends. When I went to university another world opened up to me where people from all backgrounds were thrown together and with the help of drink and some drugs I grew in confidence and started to mix and make friends but I always felt very insecure about these friendships and did all manner of stupid things to keep people liking me. I finished university two years ago and my life has gone back to how it was. I work but haven't made friends because they are all so much older than me. I'm relying more and more on drink and drugs. I can't see a way forward and feel more and more depressed.
It would seem that rather than developing social skills and confidence for yourself, you used artificial coping strategies. Now that you have left university and don't have those props, you are deskilled. You need to build your confidence genuinely. You need to challenge yourself in the areas you find difficult, so that you can prove to yourself that you can manage those situations. As there aren't people of your own age where you work, try to find places you can go to where you can meet others and begin to form friendships.
My husband and I moved up to Stoke-on-Trent from Devon this time last year and we very quickly made a circle of friends through his work. Unfortunately, there's one woman who just won't leave my husband alone and is constantly flirting with him. At first I just tried to ignore it but she has become so outrageous in her behaviour, that it is not just embarrassing, it is offensive. My husband understands how I feel and he doesn't find it comfortable either but as the newcomers he feels we shouldn't rock the boat as this woman and her partner are one of the mainstays of the group. I don't know how much more I can tolerate.
I think you have to weigh up here how important it is to remain in this circle of friends when clearly it is becoming more and more difficult for you to cope. As you have tried to ignore her behaviour, which would have been my initial suggestion too, the next option would be to talk with her, explaining that you find it very upsetting but she could of course choose to turn this on to you. Your husband doesn't seem to want to tackle this and is more concerned about the consequences of doing so. Whilst he understands how you feel, he isn't actually supporting you in what can be done. I suggest you discuss this further and make a decision jointly as to the real importance of these friends and look at your options as to how you might make other friends.
About two years ago my wife had an affair. She told me she felt invisible and unloved. I was devastated and worked really hard to change things in our relationship but two weeks ago she announced she was leaving. I have begged her to stay and work at our marriage but she says she doesn't love me anymore. I feel hurt and angry, particularly as I forgave her affair and made such an effort. I have asked her to go to Relate but she won't. What do you suggest please?
I imagine that at the point at which she had the affair, her feelings for you had changed then. If you were desperate to save the relationship, she may have wanted you to have that opportunity or she genuinely may have felt you making an effort to show her love, could have the desired effect and rekindle her love for you. This presumably has not happened for her and she now knows that she does not want to stay. I understand your hurt and frustration but I am sure you do not want to stay in a relationship with someone who does not love you and doesn't feel they can rekindle those feelings. Endings are difficult and if you feel you will struggle to accept her decision, I would suggest you access individual counselling with Relate to help you through this difficult time.
To contact Relate call 01782 683050.